Phish, 'Joy' (Jemp)

5
Joy
Critical Mass
Label: Jemp

by Mikael Wood

Phish's first studio album since 2004 suggests that what brought these jam-scene kings back together after a five-year breakup wasn't unbridled passion, but faith in their well-oiled machine. If the band's goofy fusion of boogie-roots rhythms and neo-prog guitar wizardry sounded snoozy to you back in the circa-'96 Billy Breathes days, well, Joy won't change your mind. And though a 2006 arrest led frontman Trey Anastasio to kick drugs, dude's still waxing pharmacological: "Got a blank space where my mind should be," he sings in "Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan."

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